Giants observations: Anthony DeSclafani leads SF to D-backs series win

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What we learned as DeSclafani throws gem, Posey gets injured originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2 on Sunday night at Chase Field, salvaging a .500 road trip and keeping their hold on first place in the NL West. But there weren't a lot of smiles in the dugout in the late innings. 

Buster Posey pulled himself out of the game in the sixth inning after taking a nasty foul tip off the thumb. An X-ray was negative and Posey was diagnosed with a left thumb contusion, something the Giants are hopeful won't keep him out long. 

The Giants lost the first three games of the road trip, but they bounced back to take three straight over the Diamondbacks, who are helping to pave the Giants' way to the playoffs. In 10 matchups this year, the Giants have won nine games and outscored the D-backs 75-40.

They took control of this one early, with Posey and Darin Ruf picking up back-to-back RBI hits in the first inning for a 2-0 lead. Anthony DeSclafani didn't need even that much support, coming up just one out short of what would have been his third complete game of the season. He improved to 9-3.

Here are three more things to know.

Avoiding The Worst

Posey took a foul tip off his glove hand in the bottom of the sixth and immediately dropped the glove and started shaking his hand. After trainer Dave Groeschner and manager Gabe Kapler came out to check on him, Posey caught two warmup pitches from DeSclafani, not looking fully comfortable on either one. 

He stayed in the game but lasted just one additional pitch. DeSclafani got a strikeout with a 95-mph fastball and Posey immediately grimaced as he caught the ball. He stood and motioned to the dugout that his night was over, and he was immediately taken back to the clubhouse. Posey was replaced by Curt Casali, who had started putting his gear on after the initial foul tip.

The X-ray result was great news for the Giants, and Posey already was certain to be off Monday with the Giants having a quick turnaround with a 3 p.m. game against the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Moonshot Slater

Austin Slater has eight home runs this year and four of them have gone at least 450 feet. A night after hitting one 463 feet, Slater hit a bomb that was estimated at 467 feet to give the Giants a 3-0 lead. He has the four longest homers of the year for the Giants, including three at Chase Field that have gone at least 460. With those three, Slater actually has the three longest homers of the season at Chase Field despite only playing four games there this season. 

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Slater hit just .111 in June with no homers and one RBI. He already has surpassed those totals in July and the timing couldn't be better. The Giants desperately need his bat in there against lefties, and they need him to do damage atop the lineup. He'll get another chance Monday against St. Louis' Kwang Hyun Kim. 

Wants That Trip To Denver

It's hard to say DeSclafani was snubbed when All-Star reserves were announced on Sunday afternoon, because the NL starting pitching class is remarkably deep. But he certainly has had a first half that put him in consideration and would put him on the team most years, and he continued that against the Diamondbacks. 

RELATED: Giants' Crawford, Gausman to join Posey in MLB All-Star Game

DeSclafani had a no-hitter into the fifth and took a shutout into the seventh, when Josh Reddick lined a two-out RBI single to center. He struck out seven and allowed just five hits, lowering his ERA to 2.84. 

There will be a replacement named for Kevin Gausman, who is pitching next Sunday and will thus be ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game, and DeSclafani is certainly stating his case. 

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